The National Museum of the American Indian’s (NMAI) Artist Leadership Program (ALP) for Individual Artists enables indigenous artists to research, document, and network in Washington, D.C., then return home empowered with new artistic insights, skills, and techniques to share with their communities and the general public the value of Native knowledge through art. The program aims to rebuild cultural self-confidence, challenge personal boundaries, and foster cultural continuity while reflecting artistic diversity.
The program’s primary objectives are for individual indigenous artists to focus on artistic processes while researching the vast collections of the Smithsonian Institution (SI); meet and consult with staff at SI and other arts organizations; participate in a public art panel discussion, speaking as voices of authority on their art; break down stereotypes about indigenous art; and, through a personal artistic narrative, speak to social justice issues and current events important to indigenous communities.
The program’s secondary objectives include to mentor young artists in collaboration with elders; convene local artists for networking and to share ideas and resources; affirm that indigenous arts hold value and knowledge; and through indigenous arts, offer communities a means for healing and new ways to exchange cultural information.
Applicants must choose one of two community projects and may not apply to both:
- Youth Public Art
- Artist’s Community Workshop
Up to four participants total may be selected for each of the two community projects. Artists selected in each of the projects will participate in a two-part program:
- Travel to Washington, D.C., to conduct research in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution (SI), and other local museums; meet with NMAI/SI staff; conduct presentations for NMAI staff and the museum public; and visit area museums and galleries.
- Return home to facilitate a community project in order to share knowledge learned from their experience and research conducted in Washington, D.C.
KEY DATES FOR 2015
Applications must be submitted using the ALP online application by 5 PM eastern time, Monday, May 4, 2015. Only complete applications received by the deadline will be considered.
Artists selected will be expected to be in Washington, D.C., November 30 through December 11, 2015. Artists’ community projects should be completed before September 2016.